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Cappella dell'Istituto Sacro Cuore delle Battistine is a mid 20th century school chapel at Via Manduria 51 in the Alessandrino quarter.

The postal address is the main entrance, but the chapel is by the back gate at the end of Via Raimondo Targetti, where it bends to become the Via Malfetta.

The school is dedicated to the Sacred Heart, but the founding congregation to St John the Baptist

History Edit

The Sisters of St John the Baptist (Suore di San Giovanni Battista) were founded by St Alfonso Maria Fusco at Angri in 1878. They have the nickname Battistine, which causes confusion with other congregations having a similar name.

They arrived at Rome when they founded a convent in the rione Prati, with a large school, in 1909. See Santa Maria Assunta delle Suore di San Giovanni Battista.

The Generalate was later moved to Santissimo Sacramento delle Suore di San Giovanni Battista, where it remains. The congregation developed a substantial presence in Rome, opening several schools and charitable outreaches.

This particular school was opened in the mid 20th century, on what was then the outskirts of the city. However, since then the periferia has grown up and the notorious suburb of Tor Bella Monaca lurks to the east, beyond a surviving pocket of countryside.

The many active female congregations in Rome have been running a large number of schools, medical facilities and social outreach centres until recently. As their numbers have declined, many of the institutions that they once administered have been gradually handed over to secular administration. This school seems one of them as the Diocese does not list it as belonging to the congregation, although the historical links with the congregation are valued and its website lists six sisters as teachers.

Appearance Edit

The school occupies one huge edifice, a stark and rather ugly minimalist neo-Renaissance design on a symmetrical plan. A four-storey central block is abutted by two three-storey blocks which project slightly, and these in turn are flanked by a pair of two-storey wings. The roofs are flat, with projecting cornices. The walls are rendered in a pale orange, now rather scabrous.

The chapel is a church-sized edifice on the major axis round the back, so that you get to it by going straight ahead from the central main entrance. It is a straightforward building of five bays, with a pitched and tiled roof having a hip over the sanctuary. There is an entrance bay, then a three-bay nave with three large round-headed windows in each side, and finally a sanctuary with a row of three more such windows in its back wall.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page of congregation

School website

Info.roma web-page

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